Friday, February 7, 2020

Following God Will Always Cost You Something

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ And he answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”  – Mark 10:17-22


There are things in our lives, natural things, things of this world, that we learn to depend upon – trust – for our sense of who we are and what we should depend upon.  The young man speaking to Jesus trusted in his wealth – it was his god.  Oh, he was a good person.  He did nice things for others – was respectful, but when you want to join God, He demands your whole heart – no other gods (sound familiar?). The thing is that we, most often, don’t see the things that everyone tells us are right and reasonable to put first, as something we should have to lay down to follow Jesus.  Like the young man talking to Jesus, perhaps proud of his good works, there might be something missing that is essential to what we do having eternal value.

having a form of godliness but denying its power.” – 2 Timothy 3:5

I think that so many Christians fall short of fully experiencing God and His presence because they are unwilling to “sell all they have.” It might be money, family, lifestyle, possessions, perhaps ethnic or national heritage.  The big thing now is tracing your ancestry.  My dad did that before was a spark in someone’s brain. He discovered that our roots went back to 1650 in the United States.  Interesting stuff – but, as a Christian, my roots go back to the Creator God.

Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-19

Regarding no one according to the flesh.  Would that be a major adjustment for you? A major adjustment for most Christians is to consider their natural life and others in the context of who they are in Christ and not consider who they are in Christ in the context of their natural life.  What adjustments do you need to make if you are indeed wanting to join God in what He is doing on this planet of ours? It will require sacrifice – denying your self and what your old nature – your flesh – tells you is important – more important that obeying the Word even. You can’t make these kind of adjustments by willing it – becoming more determined – it is a spiritual act that requires faith and the Spirit of God.

So, I repeat myself again and again. Has God ever spoken to you? Perhaps you think not, but perhaps He has but you were not listening or not believing it was God. Or maybe it required that you lay down more than you were willing to lay down. (to make adjustments in your devotions and dependencies) God speaks to us through prayer, other Believers and circumstances.  Dr. Blackaby said that the problem is not really in knowing it is God, the problem is obeying what He says to you.  God will never ask you to do something that you can do on your own. His call to you will always bring you to a crisis of belief.  Of trust. It will test the “true” devotion of your heart. You may not have to quit your job or live in a trailer or leave your family and friends behind. But, matter what it is – how small it may seem – it will require faith in the One who is calling.

Tomorrow - Reality Seven.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” – Jude 24-25

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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